DOJ: Former Madison District school board president took $560K in bribes from contractor

The former president of the Madison District Public Schools district board of education and a contractor are charged in a bribery scheme.

According to the Department of Justice, contractor John David is accused of bribing Albert Morrison with more than $560,000 in exchange for $3.1 million in school contracts.

The bribery charges were added to an indictment filed on April 6, that charged Morrison with tax evasion and failure to file tax returns in connection with his failure to report over $500,000 in income from David.

The DOJ said Davis was president of the board from 2012 through 2018. 

While Morrison was president, David was one of the owners of a building maintenance and reconstruction company, Emergency Restoration that was awarded the more than $3.1 million maintenance and construction projects in the district.

Officials allege that David, who was a long-time friend of Morrison, wrote checks from his company to Morrison’s solely owned company, Comfort Consulting, from 2014 through 2018. 

Morrison deposited the checks from David into his solely owned bank account. David, through his company, made at least $561,667 in payments to Morrison. David admitted he had to "pay to play" in the school district, and his companies received approximately $3,167,275 from the Madison District during the bribery conspiracy. 

Morrison is accused of spending the money on personal luxuries such as vacations in Florida and a boat slip. 

When confronted at a Madison District school board meeting, Morrison allegedly denied having any financial ties to David or Emergency Restoration. Morrison and David also did not disclose to State of Michigan auditors the payments Morrison received from David, the DOJ said.

Morrison did not declare to the IRS David’s payments to Comfort Consulting as income in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018, the DOJ said, and did not file a federal income tax return in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. 

According to the DOJ, by not declaring to the IRS the payments from David as income, Morrison avoided paying approximately $118,200 in taxes.